Diet Success Story

(Peter Arnell, 400 lbs to 150 lbs, circa 2000-2007)

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How a sugar-free diet helped advertising's It man, Peter Arnell, lose 250 pounds

(content preserved from Best Life magazine, Mar 2007 issue ,
since that link will no doubt disappear within a year or so)

Utter the phrase "larger than life" on Madison Avenue and everyone within earshot will likely think of the same man: Peter Arnell. For more than two decades, the 48-year-old brand inventor has uniquely reshaped the very concept of brand marketing, revitalizing the identities of companies such as Reebok, Banana Republic, and Samsung. But until a few years ago, his supersize reputation wasn't based solely on marketing genius.

"This is from when I weighed 350 pounds", says Arnell, holding up a size-60 suit jacket. He had already lost 50 pounds by the time he purchased it in 2001. A lifetime of skipping exercise and eating "Caesaresque" portions of knishes and tongue sandwiches had padded his 5-foot-9 frame with a blubbery 400 pounds. "It was embarrassing", says Arnell. "I used to leave meetings wondering what people were thinking of me."

Fed up, he sought the help of Louis Aronne, M.D., director of Cornell's Comprehensive Weight Control Program. The diet doc's advice was threefold: Arnell had to reduce his caloric intake to 1,800 calories a day, eliminate sugars and starches from his diet, and organize his meals around complex carbs like vegetables and whole grains. Dr. Aronne hoped to stabilize Arnell's blood sugar levels, preventing the spikes in insulin that cause food cravings.

Of course, Arnell also had to exercise, working his way up to 45 minutes a day three days a week. And the diet and fitness plan worked. "People don't believe me when I tell them how much I weighed", says the 150-pound Arnell, who recently teamed up with Muhammad Ali to create the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) brand of vitamin-rich, low-calorie snacks for kids.

The Plan

What Peter Arnell eats to keep the weight off

Breakfast: 7 a.m.

  • 1/2 cup All-Bran cereal with 4 oz. soy milk
  • 20 oz. water

Snack: 10 a.m.

  • 10 oranges [slices?]
  • small plate of seaweed

Lunch: 2 p.m.

  • large plate of grilled vegetables with garlic
  • 20 oz. sencha green tea
  • 20 oz. water

Snack: 4 p.m.

  • 10 oranges [slices?]
  • 20 oz. sencha green tea

Dinner 7 p.m.

  • 6 oz. seared tuna (no oil)
  • arugula salad with cherry tomatoes and capers
  • broccoli rabe (sautéed in garlic with no oil)
  • side of asparagus
  • shot of Italian espresso


We repeatedly see (in newspapers, magazines, and internet articles) quotes from dieticians and doctors that claim "low-carbohydrate" diets (i.e. low-sugar and low-starch diets) are FAD diets and do not work.

It seems those professionals choose to ignore repeated instances of successes by dieters --- and they choose to ignore diet plans promoted by some of their medical colleagues, such as Dr. Louis Aronne, director of Cornell's Comprehensive Weight Control Program --- who advised Arnell.

Furthermore, these 'professionals' choose to ignore the fact that the low-carb Atkin's diet was based on results in papers published in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) back in the 1960's.

    (Although Arnell's diet seems to be drug-free, if you do a web search on Dr. Aronne, you will find that he has advocated for several drugs, like Xenical, and he has done research for Abbott Labs. One drug he has advocated, Meridia, has been under fire for possibly causing multiple deaths. It is encouraging that Arnell seems to have achieved his weight loss without the use of drugs. Drug side effects are of concern.)

To see other instances of successes, see the Diet-Links page of this site. See the "Dieter Stories" section of that links page.

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Page was created 21 Mar 2007. Changed formatting 2012 May 03.